University of Pretoria etd - Brand_ A _2003_ by gyvwpsjkko


									                       University of Pretoria etd - Brand, A (2003)

[Domus No 819-820,1999:75]
                                University of Pretoria etd - Brand, A (2003)


Dimensions of Design - 100 Classical Seats

An exhibition of miniatures by the
Vitra Design Museum
No piece of furniture has attracted the attention of designers, architects and artists alike as has the chair. The
chair is closely related to the shape of the human body, it is the depiction of our body and has arms, legs, feet and a
back. The chair has assumed a key role in the history of design – as an experimental object, as the motor driving new
developments forwards and as an icon. It has long since advanced from being an everyday utilitarian object to attain the
status of an artistic event.

In the exhibition Dimensions of Design, 100 miniatures of classical seats convey the significance of design and
the role it plays in the industrial production process. These classical chairs, exact 1:6 replicas of the originals,
are presented on plinths in an elegant installation. The exhibition is accompanied by 40 wall-mounted panels
comprising photographs, original drawings and time-lines. An integral component of the exhibition is a booklet which
guides the observer through the world of chairs and provides detailed descriptions of each exhibit.

The transport and installation costs of the exhibition Dimensions of Design have been kept comparatively low, to
enable smaller museums, galleries and design centers to afford it. We are particularly pleased that, in
cooperation with the Goethe Institute, the exhibition will tour Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Dimensions of Design - Chairs that have taken their place in history
Since 1992, the chair miniatures produced by the Vitra Design Museum have earned a deserved reputation as
high-quality, true-to-scale collectors' items. The Miniatures Collection, which is meant for sales purposes,
meanwhile comprises more than 80 models; by contrast, 100 prototypes of classical seats dating from between
approx. 1800 and 1990 have been developed for the exhibition.

In the exhibition, viewers attention is directed towards the perfectly crafted true-to-scale character of the miniatures. It is
visually easy to grasp a chair as a miniature, its proportions stand out even more distinctly than in the original object. The
concentrated, clearly-defined world of the miniatures helps viewers find their bearings in the manifold styles of
contemporary design. Chairs provide us with information on social connections, on the age in which they were
created as well as on those manners of sitting which are considered exemplary. In our exhibition, the chairs are
considered not as isolated phenomena but are placed firmly in their cultural and historical context. Reproduced
documents from the archive of the Vitra Design Museum illustrate the path of development of the seats from the
first draft via production to their actual use.

Dimensions of Design - 100 Classical Seats
Exhibition objects
                                University of Pretoria etd - Brand, A (2003)

100 miniature chairs - exact 1:6 scale replicas of the originals.

Each object has been positioned on a pyramid-shaped plinth and positioned inside a Plexiglas cube using a magnet.
The size of the cube is 25 x 25 x 25 cm. Each plinth is made of white varnished fiberglass, is 127 cm high and has a
base of 40 x 40 cm.

Educational aspects
The history of furniture design from 1800 to 1990 is presented in terms of nine groups. Each group is described in an
introductory text. Furthermore, faithful reproductions of drawings, photographs and catalogues are exhibited. A time-
line provides background information on social, political, economic and artistic developments during each epoch.
A color-coding system ensures easy orientation in the exhibition.

Exhibition area
Depending on the layout, the exhibition takes up an area of 140 to 400sq. m. Various layouts are possible,
ensuring the exhibition can be adapted to the size and dimensions of the respective venue. The exhibition can be laid out
as a square (e.g. consisting of 10 x 10 units) or as a room divider in one long row or according to groups.

Wall area
Wall panels, reproductions of original documents, and time-lines are all presented in flat aluminum frames. For the
documentation, which can be subdivided into nine groups, approx. 35 running meters of wall space are required.

The exhibition has been specially designed to ensure a low transport volume and easy handling. The exhibition is packed
into thirteen crates: eight for the plinths, four crates for the Plexiglas cubes including the exhibits, and one crate
for the framed documentation. The transport volume amounts to approx. 20 cubic meters.

The exhibition is insured by the Vitra Design Museum wall to wall. Insurance costs are included in the acceptance

Mounting and dismounting
The complete installation is delivered together with the exhibition. If lighting, wall and spatial conditions have been
well prepared, the exhibition can be assembled in as little as one and a half days.

Exhibition catalogue
The booklet Dimensions of Design - 100 classical Seats, 250 pages, 12 x 17 cm. contains detailed descriptions of each
individual miniature. The catalogue includes descriptions of the history of the design and reception of the chairs, the
production process and details of each particular construction. The booklet is available at present in German,
English and Spanish.

Accompanying products
The Miniatures Collection as well as publications and other articles for your museum shop can be acquired at
reasonable conditions. We should be pleased to provide you with a separate offer.

    “What we need today is to replace the aesthetic objects with the semantic
    objects, this will result in replacing the simply beautiful with the good.
    We must start again from scratch so that these objects and machines
    serve us, in order for us to live better”.
    Philippe Starck (An-Ray Designs)
              University of Pretoria etd - Brand, A (2003)

[Domus No 813-814, 1999:57]
                         University of Pretoria etd - Brand, A (2003)

[Domus No 827-828, 2000:72]
                                University of Pretoria etd - Brand, A (2003)

A hundred years – A hundred chairs
The Vitra Design Museum has one of the biggest and most important collections of modern furniture design, with a
catalogue of over 3,000 works. The exhibition A hundred years - A hundred chairs provides us with the opportunity to
contemplate the museum’s most beautiful pieces. The aim of this exhibition is to offer a view of the different periods of
industrial furniture design in this century. It all began in the latter half of the 19 th century with curved wooden furniture
which lent itself to mass-production. Design played a significant role in cultural at development at the beginning of the
century. Gerrit Rietveld designed furniture with simple lines, while Marcel Breuer created the first tubular steel chairs. This
lightness in shape was subsequently a source of inspiration for Alvar Aalto, who was the first to use plywood, and for
Jean Prouvé, who started to use techniques and materials which had previously only been used by the aeronautical

Following the Second World War, American designers began to collaborate closely with industry. Designers like Charles
Eames, Eero Saarinen and Harry Bertoia came up with designs which would be used for the mass production of furniture
for American homes. Design became a key element of daily life. At that time in Europe, furniture design was developing
mainly in Italy and Scandinavia. Nonetheless, the objective was still the same as that in America, namely to make
designer goods more accessible to the general public.

Hans Wegner and Arne Jacobsen were forerunners in Scandinavian countries in creating wooden furniture, while the
Italians turned their attention to more novel materials like plastic. The considerable malleability of these materials,
together with the development of new types of foam, gave rise to a wealth of creative fantasy in the sixties. At that time,
Pop Art provided a source of inspiration and designers played on form and colour. The main representatives of this trend
were Verner Panton and Joe Colombo. Later, in the seventies, designs became even more radical, leading to the
emergence of opposition to the rules of Modernism. Groups of designers like Memphis or Archizoom emphasised the
amusing and playful nature of forms rather than functionality.

The eighties were marked by a search for both, individualism and pluralism, giving rise to a variety of previously unheard
of styles. Philippe Starck, Ron Arad and Gaetano Pesce are leading representatives of this trend. A search for simple but
innovative shapes and materials has characterised the present decade, the last of this century. Frank Gehry and Jasper
Morrison are two key figures of this period. Nevertheless, fantasy remains an indispensable criterion in the conception of
forms. The work of Ron Arad and Marc Newson, both concerned with functionality and mass-production, bears witness to
this fact. Drawings, sketches and documents belonging to the Vitra Design Museum accompany the chairs on display.
Visitors are given precise details of the pieces on show, which are exhibited in specially designed interiors evoking the
historical context in which they were created. Six films reveal the manufacturing process of some of the chairs, giving the
spectator general insight into different production techniques.

A hundred years – A hundred chairs
An exhibition by the Vitra Design Museum

Exhibition design
Dieter Thiel

Number of works
- 100 chairs dating from 1899 to 1999
- 48 explanatory panels (70cm x 100cm)
- one model of the Vitra Design Museum
- one photograph of the Vitra Design Museum (70cm x 100cm)

7 film installations including A/V hard- and software

All plinth for TV and presentation platforms provided.

Space requirements
600-800 m²

Transport Volume
Approx. 4 containers

Contact for scheduling information:
Reiner Packeiser
Head of the Exhibition Department
Vitra Design Museum
phone: +49 (0)7621 702 37 29
fax: +49 (0)7621 702 47 29
                           University of Pretoria etd - Brand, A (2003)

[Domus 813-814, 1999:45]
                       University of Pretoria etd - Brand, A (2003)

[Domus No 813-814, 1999:65]

                                                             pages 76-84

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